What is personal protective equipment?
The personal protective equipment includes safety products and safety jackets. The gloves, masks, gowns, aprons, etc are some types of personal protective equipment. PPE is the short form for personal protective equipment. PPE creates a barrier between the noninfected person and the infectious contaminants. The use of PPE has reduced the infection rate to a very large extent. PPE provides our health care workers with a safe environment to work in.
RP Comtrade is a company that can be completely trusted with personal protective equipment. They provide PPE meeting the standards set by the medical institutions and providing safety to the health care workers.
Why use personal protective equipment for infection control?
The use of personal protective equipment reduces the chances of the spread of diseases. It helps to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases. Personal protective equipment is usually present in the health care offices. The health care workers commonly use this equipment. As they are at high risk of infections.
Furthermore, we should make sure that the personal protective equipment we are using should be of high quality and effective in preventing infections.
There are different types of personal protective equipment available for different parts of the body.
Types of personal protective equipment
The different types of personal protective equipment are:
- Gloves: provide protection to the hands from microbes and reduce the risk of transmission of diseases and infections.
- Clothing: It includes aprons, head covering, gowns, and shoe covers.
- Eye protection: This includes goggles and shields. They protect the mucous membranes of the eyes from body fluids.
- Masks: The masks should cover the mouth and nasal area. They Protect against pathogens that may cause respiratory diseases.
Gloves are to be used to prevent infection and the spread of infection. The gloves are used for hand protection. They act as a barrier between the skin and the external environment. They are a part of the infection control strategy.
Gloves should be worn when there is exposure to :
- Mucous membranes – Oral, genital, rectal, or nasal.
- Blood or body substances
- Wounds or surgical incisions
- Potentially contaminated items
RP Comtrade provides high-quality gloves in different sizes. They provide high quality and do not compromise the safety of their customers.
Types of gloves
There are five types of gloves :
- Vinyl: These are loose-fitting gloves. These gloves are rarely used in the healthcare industry. Moreover, they are less effective than latex gloves in providing a barrier from microorganisms.
- Latex: The latex gloves are better. They also provide better barrier protection from microorganisms. However, before using latex gloves make sure that both the patient and healthcare worker should not allergic to latex.
- Polythene: These gloves are very thin and tend to tear. They are not appropriate for the healthcare sector.
- Nitrile: Nitrile gloves are alternatives to rubber latex. They are almost similar in providing a barrier against microorganisms. They are comparatively less elastic than rubber latex gloves. Furthermore, some reports of healthcare staff being allergic to them have been made.
- Neoprene: They are also an alternative for rubber latex gloves. They are mostly used during surgeries. Neoprene gloves are comparatively more expensive than latex gloves.
How to use the gloves?
It is very important to use gloves in the right way. The way you use it influences the transmission of diseases.
- Change your gloves: After examining each patient the healthcare worker should change and dispose of the used gloves.
- Environmental contact: Avoid contact with the surroundings. Do not touch the things in our surroundings like door knobs, switches, etc while wearing gloves. As it may increase the risk of disease transmission.
- The center for disease control does not recommend wearing double gloves.
- Examine the highly contaminated parts at last. Firstly, the examination of clean body sites or the less contaminated parts should be done.
Gowns and aprons
The health care workers should wear gowns and aprons when hazardous or infectious substances are likely to splash. Moreover, the gowns/aprons are also called safety jackets and safety jackets. These disposal safety jackets are designed for the protection of the uniform.
- The worker should use gowns/aprons if the contamination of the arms is possible. The gown should fit properly to the person and should be comfortable. It should be of full sleeves fitting properly to the worker.
- The health care workers should use aprons at times when limited contamination is possible.
- However, the workers should use Gowns when there is extensive contamination of blood and body fluids.
RP Comtrade is a company that can provide you with customized aprons. You can add or remove pockets according to your convenience. Moreover, now you will be able to have an apron of your size.
Guide for use of gowns and aprons
The workers should dispose and store the gowns and aprons properly.
- The wearer should change the Aprons/Gowns after attending to a patient. Moreover, they should also change the apron/gown between different procedures on the same patient.
- The worker should be careful while removing the apron/gown. Avoid touching the outer surface of the cloth because it may result in contamination.
- The wearer should immediately discard the apron/gown after removing it.
- The worker should immediately wash his/her hands after the removal of the apron/gown.
Goggles and shields
The goggles and shields provide eye protection. They protect the eyes from contaminated fluids or harmful chemicals.
The goggles should fit properly over and around the eyes.
Face shields provide protection for the eyes as well as the face. They should cover the forehead till below the chin and wrap around the side of the face. They are a substitute for masks and goggles.
Guide to use goggles and shields
- They should not touch the goggles or the face shields while removing.
- They should cover the entire face area.
- The wearer should dispose of the goggles and the shields after a single use.
- The worker should make sure that they fit over the specs. They should consider the anti-fog properties of the goggles and shields.
- Moreover, they should remove the products by the use of earpieces and headbands.
The masks are among the most important safety products. They are most important among different types of personal protective equipment.
- Masks provide barrier protection to the wearer and prevent splashes or droplets from reaching the wearer’s mouth or nose.
- The mask should properly cover the nose and mouth of the wearer.
- The masks have a flexible nose piece. The String ties or elastics can be used to secure the masks to the head.
Types of masks
There are many different types of masks and they all have different uses.
Such as :-
- Surgical masks:
The infected person should wear these masks.
It protects by limiting the spread of infectious particles from an infected person to the environment. However, as the filtration system is not present the mask does not protect against inhalation of small particles. The time limit for wearing the mask is 8 hours and it should not be worn more than the time limit.
The workers use these for protection against non-fibrogenic dust. However, they don’t protect against infectious diseases or airborne pathogens. Moreover, they also have a 22% leakage risk. People working in the building or food industry normally wear FFP1.
- FFP2 or N95:
Most commonly used by healthcare workers. These masks protect against airborne particles up to 94%. Moreover, they provide a good fit. Although, they also have an 8% risk of leakage. FFP2 or N95 masks are the most common.
These masks provide protection against smoke, poisonous gasses, and dust in the workplace. They offer 99% protection. They should be used in intubation.
Respiratory masks protect against airborne diseases and infectious pathogens whereas surgical masks are for a different purpose. They provide barrier protection from body fluids.
Where to use personal protective equipment
Every health care unit uses personal protective equipment:
- Acute care
- Long-term care
- Output patient care
- The community care
Follow the instructions carefully while removing and disposing of the equipment. Improper disposal can lead to the spread of some infectious diseases.
Selecting the appropriate PPE
Selection of the correct types of personal protective equipment. Therefore, factors affecting the selection of appropriate PPE are:-
- Durability and appropriateness of the PPE: Whether a gown or apron is required is decided by this factor. It is very important to choose the right type of gown. In case it has to be fluid resistant or neither.
- Fitness: The personal protective equipment should fit the individual. Otherwise, it will compromise the protection of the health care provider.
- The type of anticipated exposure: Whether the exposure will be in the form of touch, splashes, or sprays. If there is a risk of a large volume of body fluids. To determine the type of PPE to be used, the category of isolation is to be determined.
Along with choosing the appropriate PPE, the wearer must not compromise the quality of the PPE. RP Comtrade has years of experience in manufacturing, distribution, import, and export of personal protective equipment.
The health care workers use respirators to provide respiratory protection. The most common respirators used by healthcare workers are N95, N99, or N100 masks.
The common types of respirators used in the healthcare setting are:
- Filter facepiece respirators- Such as N95 respirators.
- Powered air-purifying respirators( PAPRS)
This device is designed to provide an extremely close facial fit, this respirator efficiently filters airborne particles as well as pathogens. The name suggests that it blocks 95% of very small particles. If the respirator fits properly then it may exceed the percentage of its protection. However, the mask cannot eliminate the risk and the person may fall sick.
These respirators are disposable. In the event that the mask does not fit properly, is damaged or makes breathing difficult it should be removed and thrown away.
The proper way to discard your N95 respirator is to place it in a plastic bag and put it in the trash. Wash your hands after handling the used respirator.
However, children or people with facial hair should not use these respirators. As it won’t be able to achieve a proper fit and the mask won’t provide complete protection. In order to determine what type of personal protective equipment must be selected, the exposure category is to be determined.
PAPR stands for powdered air-purifying respirators. High-risk aerosol-generating procedures require the wearing of respirators. It has a more complicated filtration process. It works on battery. PAPR includes a full face mask, a battery-operated blower, a breathing tube, and particulate matter. It passes the air through the HEPA filter using the blower. Hence, it removes the contaminants and supplies the purified air.
PAPR can be used when:
- When the employee has facial hair or facial deformity.
- The N95 does not fit the individual.
- When there is high risk due to the aerosol-generating procedure.
- A person who is medically certified but cannot wear an N95 mask can use PAPR.
Before wearing the PPE
Before wearing the PPE somethings are to be considered:
- Make sure that you are hydrated and have used the washroom.
- Take help from a colleague in donning the PPE.
- Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly.
Sequence of wearing the PPE :
It is really important to wear your PPE in the correct sequence to protect yourself from contaminants and prevent the spread of diseases. Hence, the correct sequence is as follows:
- Apron or gown or safety jacket
- Mask or respirator
- Face shields or goggles
- And gloves
The sequence of removing the PPE :
Following the sequence of PPE is equally important as following the sequence of wearing it.
The sequence is as follows:
- Goggles or face shields
- Apron or gown
- Respirator or mask
- Sanitizing of hands
In conclusion, personal protective equipment has evolved over the centuries as healthcare needs have increased and become more challenging. Facilities need to utilize PPE effectively and include the following in the infection prevention plan for maximum benefit:
- Nationally recognized guidelines and standards are to be followed for the prevention of transmission of organisms from healthcare worker to patient, patient to healthcare worker, and patient to patient.
- And, ensure that the facility has selected evidence-based guidance from nationally known associations and agencies.
- Furthermore, healthcare workers should be provided with the necessary guidance, education, tools, and supplies to enhance the use of PPE.
RP Comtrade is a company that will provide you with the best quality PPE. Furthermore, they have years of experience in manufacturing personal protective pieces of equipment and they never compromise the safety of the wearer.